Why: Our Story
In 2006, then Yale medical student Jason Andrews and his Nepali wife and filmmaker Roshani Andrews traveled to Nepal’s neglected Far-Western region on their honeymoon to document the lives behind the HIV crisis they had heard so much about.
When they arrived, they instead found themselves in a situation of multiple crises in Achham District – where 260,000 people lived without a doctor, infrastructure was destroyed by a 10-year civil war, and families were torn apart by migration of men to India to find work.
On March 12th, 2006 Jason emailed his close friends at Yale Medical School, Duncan Maru and Sanjay Basu, saying he felt “wholly compelled but completely adrift” by the devastation he had seen.
After that email, Jason, Duncan, and Sanjay could have walked away from the challenges posed by this region everyone else had forgotten. They were told repeatedly that building a quality health system there wasn’t possible due to lack of infrastructure, the immense poverty, the political turmoil, and for lack of precedent – no one had done it before.
Yet they pushed back, determined to build an effective, durable organization rooted in the philosophy of “nyaya” or “the realization of just systems.”
Nyaya Health’s vision began to be realized in 2008, when the three were joined by a growing global team of leaders – from Nepal, India, and the U.S. – and Achhami doctor and Nyaya Health Founding Medical Director, Jhapat Thapa, to transform an abandoned grain shed into a beautiful clinic operated by Nepali health care providers using a small sum of funding from friends and family.
That commitment to realization then came to define everything the organization did, from forming a novel public-private partnership with Nepal’s Ministry of Health to moving radically beyond a shamefully substandard approach to transparency in international development work.
Today, the organization has treated more than 101,000 patients, employs over 155 Nepali employees partnered with a global network of support, has attracted over $1 million dollars of investment ($105,000 from Nepal’s Ministry of Health), and has been distinguished by GiveWell as a standout organization for its ability to deliver care in an extremely poor region with unusual levels of transparency.
The right to health is being realized, and we need you to bring health to more people throughout rural Nepal.
Will you join us?